The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

Within 5 minutes of meeting a new bridgetender, I can tell if he or she is going to last. And I’m never wrong. Opening drawbridges isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t even last for that 5 minutes. They take one look at the catwalks and stairways, suspended precariously high above the water, and they quit …

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If you are afraid of heights, the last thing you should do is become a bridgetender. Many people are afraid to even walk or drive across bridges, let alone work on them. I see it every day. Others are fine until they feel the bridge shaking and swaying. But trust me, the last thing you …

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I’ve been opening drawbridges since September of 2001, and I love it. I’ve opened 9 different bridges in three different states. I only know one other bridgetender with better statistics than that, so I’m kind of proud. I’ve been going down memory lane quite a bit lately, so I decided to check out all my …

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Recently someone quoted my WordPress blog tag line like so: “The random musings of a bridgetender [sic] with entirely too much time on her hands.” For the uninitiated, “sic” is basically latin for “Okay, I’m writing it this way because it’s a direct quote, dude, but it’s WRONG.” I wanted to scream when I saw …

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The other day I was lying in bed, in the desperate pursuit of ever-elusive sleep (which is the life story of every graveyard shift worker on the face of the earth), when BOOM!!!! Lightning struck the house, and I instantly had two very terrified dogs on top of me. I went without internet for three …

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This happened on the bridge on my day off. Thank God. Two bridgetenders were standing on the catwalk outside our tenderhouse when they looked down to the street level and saw a man vault himself over the railing and plunge 40 feet into the rapidly flowing, extremely deep river below. A woman who witnessed this …

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This morning I sort of did the walk of shame. I trained on a drawbridge that I had worked on for years, but had left two years ago to completely change my life. After working on this beautiful little bridge since 2001, I realized that as much as I love the job, there was no …

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Here I am, working graveyard shift on the drawbridge on the coldest night of the year so far. The tenderhouse is suspended 25 feet above the roadway and right in the center of the river for maximum wind chill. The floor is a steel plate with questionable insulation, so the cold radiates through my feet, …

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